Gerdau adds vacuum degasser to MI facility

One of the largest producers of long steel in the Americas, Gerdau, has started using the new twin-tank vacuum degasser at its Monroe, Michigan facility.

This new piece of melt shop equipment, designed and built by Danieli SpA, is part of a $155.6-million capital-improvement at the facility, which is meant to increase production capacity to 800,000 tons per year. The company’s North American special steel division produces special bar quality steel, including some stainless, at electric mini-mills in Jackson and Monroe, Michigan and Fort Smith, Arkansas. It also processes steel products at an additional five locations.

Vacuum degassing is a refining technology where gaseous elements in molten steel are extracted under vacuum, which prevents oxidizing as required to produce various specialty and stainless grades. Danieli’s degassing technology includes a combination steam ejector/water ring or full-steam ejector pumps. The twin-tank configuration will allow Gerdau to produce specialty alloy grades in sufficient volumes to supply the billet caster.

The capital investment program will also include Gerdau expanding its rolling capacity by purchasing six more rolling mill stands as well as a new walking-beam reheat furnace by the end of this year. A new bar straightening and quality inspection station are also planned.

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